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Creating awareness of the role of science in Puerto Rican culture and society through our Seeds of Success

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture
STEM Expo Science Festival organized by one of our Seeds of Success at the Hemeterio Colón School in Ponce
Traditionally, the week of November 19th schools across our archipelago celebrate the discovery of Puerto Rico by taking the opportunity to reflect on our heritage, our culture, and Puerto Ricans of which we are proud.

This year, a significant number of these commemorations will include celebrations of scientists, engineers, and other science-related professionals and the contributions they have made to our society. The reason for this new focus? The dedication, creativity and commitment of our "Seeds of Success", girls, mostly in middle school, from all corners of our archipelago, who were selected to attend workshops where they interacted with female scientists and engineers (our "Borinqueñas"), explored their scientific curiosity and leadership, and learned more about careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (the so-called STEM disciplines).

As part of the program, and to increase its impact, we challenged the Seeds of Success to design an activity that would help us  share the enthusiasm and excitement that they feel for STEM with other students and people in their schools and communities. The result has left us impressed and inspired by the incredible resource of creativity, talent and commitment we have among our youth.

Thanks to the Seeds of Success who accepted our challenge, thousands of students across Puerto Rico will be exposed to the concept that science and technology--as well as the arts, our music and cuisine, and sports--are also part our culture and our identity as Puerto Ricans.

We are very proud of these "STEM Ambassadors", the official title that will be awarded to girls who complete their science outreach projects, as well as of the mentors that guided them to identify their projects and to carry them out. We also appreciate very much the participation of the large numbers of STEM professionals who will be paricipating in the activities as presenters, role models or mentors.

In the coming months we hope to better highlight the projects and contributions of our STEM Ambassadors but for now, we leave you here with some examples of how our young people and their fellow students and community members will be celebrating science, mathematics, engineering and technology, as part our Puerto Rican heritage.

  • Educational lecture on science and mechanical engineering at John B Watson Bilingual School
  • STEM Science Fair Expo in Hemeterio Colón school in Ponce
  • Science fair at Wesleyan Academy
  • STEM week at Radians School
  • Hour of Code and activities that promote computer science at Gerardo Selles Sola in Caguas
  • Robotics demonstration and talk by a biologist at San José School in San Germán
  • Other robotics demonstrations and lectures in  Bethel Christian Bilingual School, Blanca Malaret, Colegio Merced, Hector Urdaneta and  University Gardens
  • Creating murals on science and Puerto Rico at Antonio E. Paoli, Venus Gardens, Juan Cancio Ortiz, SU Carmelo Serrano and Central Visual Arts Schools
  • Stargazing night at the San Francisco de Asis CEM,  Juan Ponce de León,  Juana Colon Schools and Colegio Santa Gema 
  • The "Magic of Chemistry" at Colegio CIEM 
  • Beach or river cleaning and water quality research by students at Maximum Donoso Sanchez, David Antongiorgi School, Central School of Visual Arts, Guamaní Private School, Caribbean School, Daskalos School, Colegio Presbiteroano REHMA, American Academy in Gurabo, and American Academy Ponce
  • Creating a butterfly sanctuary at Maria Teresa Delgado Marcano in San Lorenzo
  • Creating a science club at S.U. Maria Santiago and Colegio Puertorriqueño de Niñas
  • Creating brochure about scientists from her town and of possible mentors at the Sacred Heart of Jesus School
  • Creating magazine, art exhibits on science or school newsletters on science at Cerezo Benito Vazquez, Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Colegio CIEM, Dr. Efrain Sanchez Hidalgo, Isabel Flores de Juncos and the September 20, 1988 school in Vieques
  • Creation of school agricultural gardens in the Christian College in August Oscar Correa, San Benito College, School Nemesio Canales, Manuel Gonzalez Pató Middle School, Blanca Malaret, Luis Muñoz Iglesias, Rafael Irizarry Rivera and St Patrick's Schools
  • Mini 3D printing fair at Felipe Colón Diaz School
  • Awareness campaign about earthquakes in Intermedia Martin Gonzalez
  • Science-based campaigns to prevent teenage parenthood by San Germán Inter School
  • Recycling campaign, ecological awareness and conservation in the St. Augustine Academy and Holy Spirit, Andres Gonzalez, Jesus T Pinero, the Academy Disciples of Christ, and some Homeschooled girls
  • Excursions to C3TEC, Ecoexploratorio, Museo de Vida Silvestre, and several companies and universities by 546 troop of Girl Scouts of Humacao, school Sergio Ramirez Arellano de Hostos, Ernesto Ramos Antonini School, the Lyceum Aguadillano, the Christian Kingdom Academy, the Lyceum Ponce, Liceo Aguadillano, Lares Christian Academy, North Point Military Academy, College Notre Dame, CIMATEC, Ofelia Torres Pratt, Josefa Vélez Bauzá, Sacred Heart College
  • Talks by scientists or about and the challenges of the modern woman in the field of science at Queen Mary, the Puerto Rican Academy Girls' School, the School SU Maximino A Salas the WALKS / WEBS, the Querubí College, Prof. School school. Juana Rosario, Isabela Christian College Secundino Rev. Elba, Christian Leadership Academy, Colegio San Conrado, San Benito College, School José Campeche, SU Ramón Betances, Robinson School, Ramon Rodriguez Diaz school and Genaro Vazquez Cautiño, Immaculate Conception School September 20, 1988 in Vieques

Students participating in the "Hour of Code", one of the activities that one of our "STEM Ambassadors" organized at the Gerardo Sellés Solá School as part of our Seeds of Success program

Video by El Nuevo Día about the "Hour of Code", one of the activities that one of our "STEM Ambassadors" organized at the Gerardo Sellés Solá School as part of our Seeds of Success program

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